02 December 2007

Flowering now in southern New South Wales

Milkmaids in the coral fern:

Milkmaids (Burcharia umbellata) are lilies that live in heath and open forest. Coral ferns are widespread wherever there is enough constant moisture. This is the Pouched Coral Fern (Gleichenia dicarpa).

A current scene in southern New South Wales coastal heath, this mixture of textures and shapes is so much like scenes in the sea itself.

Those reaching stalks are from a shrub, a variety of Allocasuarina of which there are many species in Australia's south. Commonly called she-oaks, Casuarina can be tall trees that bear no resemblance to oaks, but can fool a Northern Hemispherian as pines, though they have no smell.

This is a Flannel Flower (Actinotus) of which there are 18 known species in Australia. The petals of these flannel flowers feel finer than the finest flannel. The velvety leaves of this species remind me powerfully of a sponge that often washes up on beaches here. I don't know the name of the sponge but when it's fresh, it's green and floppy and alive and moist as a nightmare dead man's hand.

No comments: